Inspiration: How to be content in all seasons
Article By Dianna Hobbs // Biblical Inspiration & Encouragement
When I was around 19 or 20, I worked at a factory. I learned about the job opening through a temporary employment agency. I gratefully accepted the offer.
The first day I entered the work site—a huge, white, windowless warehouse—the sauna-like temperatures made my t-shirt stick to my body. There were hundreds of people inside handling tons of laundry; many of them were steaming clothing.
I was quickly ushered to my work station and given an explanation of my duties for the day: “Go get a bin of laundry. Hang the shirts and pants, and do it quickly.”
That seemed easy enough.
Before hanging each piece, I was told to check the pockets and remove anything inside. I had to be fast because the hangers moved along on a timer, and if I didn’t get enough shirts and pants hung in time, my performance numbers would suffer. I could eventually be fired.
But, because I needed my job, I got into a rhythm and was focused!
I’d often be thirsty due to the sweltering conditions. The pain of an achy back and throbbing feet was uncomfortable. Yet, I appreciated my job. One of the perks was, if any employee ever found any money in the pockets of the clothing, they were allowed to keep it. It was always a nice surprise to find dollar bills. Whenever it happened, I would softly thank the Lord.
I fared so well at the factory, they offered me permanent employment, but I couldn’t stay beyond summer. I was in college, and the work schedule wasn’t flexible. They required a full 8-hour shift which was incompatible with my fall school schedule. Besides, I knew that job wasn’t meant to be permanent for me. However, while I was there, on my way to where God was taking me, I was content.
I think a lot of times we struggle with contentment in the present because our eyes are on where we want to be in the future. We forget that God has us where we are at the moment, and there are lessons to be learned in the place and space we presently occupy.
In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Fascinatingly, he wrote that while he was on house arrest in the custody of the Roman government. Wow, right?
In verse 12, Paul said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
What is that secret? Well, in verse 13, Paul tells us, “I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.”
So often, we quote Philippians 4:13 as a general encouragement, and it’s great for that. But if we put it in context, Paul is saying, Christ gives you strength to endure every circumstance—good or bad—and be content.
Friend, on our own, we all struggle to be content, which is to remain in a state of peace and satisfaction. We constantly see reasons to be dissatisfied. But contentment is possible in all seasons through Christ. When you rest in Him, you don’t have to live in the biggest house; you don’t have to drive the fanciest car; you don’t have to have the most money in your bank account; you don’t have to have a big title; and all the circumstances of life don’t have to be perfect. Your joy is full when you remain in Him.
When you’re content, that doesn’t mean you ignore your desire for greater or stop believing God has more for you. No. A state of contentment simply means you are trusting God wholeheartedly, joyfully flourishing where you are, and maintaining an attitude of gratitude.
Whether employed or unemployed, sick or well, rich or poor, up or down, your joy is not tied to the things you possess, but rather, it’s all about your relationship with Christ. Amen?
Today, keep in mind 1 Timothy 6:6 NIV, which says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Remain satisfied in Jesus, knowing that your life is in the palm of His hand. Whatever He has for you, as long as you remain connected to Him, you will receive it.
Finally, as you walk with the Lord, remember to do what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Now let’s pray.
God, every area of my life is not perfect, but You are the One who satisfies my soul above all else. Please help me resist feelings of dissatisfaction, discontentment, and discouragement, and remember that You have empowered me to live a life of contentment in Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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